Goa's Sugar Banarse & Sofiya Sharma claim national champion titles at 3rd Indian Open of Surfing

Goa's Sugar Banarse & Sofiya Sharma claim national champion titles at 3rd Indian Open of Surfing

Goa girls splash talent in the 3rd Indian Open of Surfing in Karnataka in their respective categories.

The Indian Open of Surfing, a three-day premiere competition concluded in Karnataka on Sunday with Goa girls splashing talent through the scoreboard. Sugar Banarse and Sofiya Sharma from the Sunshine State won the national champions in the Women's Open and groms girls (16 & under) categories respectively, claiming a historic honour.

A sweeping victory for Goa girls! 

The finale of the Indian Open of Surfing in Karnataka saw Goa's 16-year-old Sugar Banarse walk away with the national championship crown from Tamil Nadu surfer and defending champion Srishti Selvam. For the uninitiated, Sugar had originally registered for the groms' girl category, to compete in the 16 years and under age group. However, Sugar bravehearted the tides of women's open category, with a splendour of her skills and surfing from the initial stages of the tournament.

Notably, Sugar scored a total of 14.50 points while runner-up Srishti Selvam earned 13.40 points. Karnataka's Sinchana Gowda finished third with 10.20 points.

Speaking post her win, Sugar said, "I am very happy and grateful to Surfing Federation of India and the judges to allow me to participate in the women's open surf category. The waves were tough today and the competition tougher, but I am happy that I could convert my training into actions and become the national champion."

It was also the first time that the Indian Open of Surfing featured a Groms Girls 16 & Under surf category. And here too, Goa's Sofiya Sharma claimed the national crown, with a total of 18.50 points on th board. Sharma's performance, a spectacular show, had her stand out in the league with the highest score of the tournament on all days.

Following her, 9-year-old Thanishka Mendon, the youngest participant in the tournament from Mangalore, finished as the runner-up with a total of 12.23 points. Another Mangalorean surfer Saanvi Hegde finished third with a total of 11.33 points.

The day came to an end with an exhibition Expression Race where the winners and runners-up of the men's open and groms boys competed against each other. Ramesh Budhial emerged victorious in this, followed by Ajeesh Ali. Naveen Kumar R (groms boys 16 & under) finished third while Kishore Kumar (groms boys 16 & under) finished fourth.

Identifying talent ahead of LA Olympics

Hosted by the Mantra Surf Club at the Panambur Beach in Mangalore, the 3rd Indian Open of Surfing by the Surfing Federation of India (SFI) was a showcase of brilliant talent, said Arun Vasu, President, Surfing Federation of India.

"I am very impressed with the quality of surfers that whom we are watching compete here at Mangalore. With the LA Olympics in sight, we are working hard to identify young and upcoming surfers and the quality and skill at display today only gives me the confidence to keep believing in our objectives. I would like to thank all the surfers who participated in this tournament and congratulate the winners for showcasing some great surfing."

- with inputs from IANS

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